Livermore, ME - Tammy Sanborn filed an 11-count civil lawsuit against Peter Drown Jr. asking the court to award her family damages for an attack on the their animals by his pit bulls. The lawsuit filed by the woman on behalf of herself and children also asks the Court to prohibit Drown, his father, Peter Drown Sr., and Wilbert N. Peart from going near her family or their residence and harassing them.
Peter Drown Jr. admitted in court last July that two of his pit bulls attacked 11 of the Sanborn's show goats on Nov. 15, 2006, killing two of them and injuring the others. Sanborn shot and killed the pit bulls when she found them in her barn. The court ordered Drown to pay $1,200 in fines and in 2006, ordered him to pay $700 more for other incidents including injuring and killing Sanborn's livestock and poultry.
The suit claims damages suffered by the Sanborns include loss of milk, veterinary bills, property damage, cut timber, lost goats, lost show chickens and laying hens, lost eggs, the cost of medications, needles and syringes and goats lost as a result of miscarriage. Out of pocket expenses total at least $13,400 and that doesn't include emotional distress or punitive damages, interest, or attorneys' fees.
The lawsuit also claims that the family was harassed with threats, property damage, stalking, breaking into their home and poisoning their animals.
The claims cited in the lawsuit are civil trespass, damage to livestock, injury to agricultural products, assault and battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligence, defamation, and violation of the Maine Civil Rights Act. The latter refers to Sanborn's teenage daughter who spearheaded an effort to strengthen the state's and Livermore's laws concerning dangerous dogs.
"The suit claims that Peart assisted the younger Drown to intentionally interfere with the teenager's rights in her attempt to draft and pass the ordinance by physical force and violence, damage to property and the threat of physical force and violence against her family, particularly her mother."
The suit also states the elder Drown did nothing to stop the men and allowed his son to stay on his land despite the acts of intimidation and violence in which he was engaging. Peter Drown Jr. had filed a suit against the town claiming that the dangerous dog ordinance voters approved in 2007 was invalid due to procedural errors. The court has since dismissed that suit on Drown's request.
As a side note, the Dangerous Dog Ordinance that Livermore passed was "non breed-specific," but set tighter parameters for owners of dangerous dogs. Many pit bull advocates are as equally against breed-specific laws as they are against non-breed specific laws. They are against any law that holds a dog owner responsible period. (Section 6.14)
04/16/08: Pit Bull Owner Sics Dog on Stark County Dog Warden
12/21/07: Pit Bull Owner Harasses Victim's Family
12/11/07: Online Pit Bull Forum Blamed for Skewing Survey Results